Ph.A.Q.s about Ph.D.s

Books and reality and art are the same kind of thing for me.
-Vincent Van Gogh

©2010 Kelcey Parker, Exhibit B. Book of Narrative Poems, Dead Bee.©2010 Kelcey Parker, Exhibit B. Book of Narrative Poems, Dead Bee.

The foundation of this blog is the bi-weekly How To Become a Writer interview series, with insights from today’s writers about, well, how to become a writer. Or at least how they did it. The rest of the posts are mostly about things related to the writing life: writing, publishing, procrastinating, pondering, schooling, and longing. If you notice a disproportionate number of posts about Prague or Frank Lloyd Wright, that’s because I’m writing about them.

Phrequently Asked Questions

What is a Ph.D. in Creative Writing?

It’s a misnomer.

The degree is technically a Ph.D. in English (my exam areas were American Literature and Theories of the Novel) with a creative dissertation (mine was a novel).

For a bit more on US vs. UK programs, check out my blog post.

Should I get a Ph.D. in Creative–er–English with a creative dissertation?

It’s not a bad way to go.

Click here to read a bit more of a rant on the question: To Ph.D. or Not to Ph.D.?

How long does it take to get a Ph.D.?

It depends, but the usual schedule looks something like this: 2 years of course work + 1 year reading/taking exams + 1 year dissertating = 4 years.

I did it in four years; some friends took longer.

Can I get an M.A., an M.F.A., and a Ph.D.?

Yep. I got an M.A. and Ph.D. at the same school, but many new doctoral students came from M.F.A. programs.

Where can I find a decent list of MA, MFA, and PhD programs in creative writing?

New Pages has a nice linked list. And here’s a handy search program by AWP so you can find exactly what you want. And here’s a blog to compare notes and generally stress yourself out when you apply: Creative Writing PHD Blog: A Forum for Applicants to Doctoral Creative Writing Programs. (highly recommended, highly dangerous)

Will you answer other questions?

Sure, just post a question in the the contact box. (It will be sent directly to me.)

So far all of the phrequently asked questions are just things I made up.

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